HL Deb 10 November 1999 vol 606 c160WA
Lord Seaford

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How the Medical Advisory Panel on BSE quantifies the percentage risk of contracting new variant CJD from eating beef on the bone. [HL4400]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Baroness Hayman)

There continues to be great uncertainty about the nature of variant CJD with relation to BSE and how susceptible people may be to infection. It is therefore not possible for the Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee (SEAC) to estimate the statistical risk of contracting the disease as a result of consuming beef or beef products which have been cooked on the bone. In his recent advice to the Government, the Chief Medical Officer, Professor Liam Donaldson, concluded that a decision to lift the bone-in beef ban should, in his assessment, be informed by the fact that the additional risk to human health created would at this stage of the cattle epidemic be tiny and unquantifiable in any meaningful way.

A copy of the Chief Medical Officer's advice is available in the Library of the House.

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